9 PM Current Affairs Brief – December 16th, 2019

‘Maternity scheme exclusionary, need benefits for all’

News: Critics have highlighted issues with Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana (PMMVY)


About Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana

  • It is a conditional Maternity Benefit Programme launched by Ministry of Women and Child Development in 2017. It is in accordance to the National Food Security Act 2013.


  • Providing partial compensation for the wage loss in terms of cash incentive.
  • Improved health seeking behaviour amongst the Pregnant Women and Lactating Mothers (PW& LM).

Benefits: A cash incentive of 5000/- is provided directly to the Bank / Post Office Account of Pregnant Women and Lactating Mothers (PW&LM)

Beneficiaries: All eligible Pregnant Women and Lactating Mothers who have their pregnancy on or after 1st January 2017 for first child in family.

  • Exclusion: PW&LM who are in regular employment with the Central/State Government or PSUs or those who are in receipt of similar benefits under any law.

Implementation: PMMVY is implemented using the platform of Anganwadi Services scheme of Umbrella ICDS under Ministry of Women and Child Development.

Additional Information:

  1. Pradhan Mantri Surakshit Matritva Abhiyan: Launched by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the scheme guarantees a minimum package of antenatal care services to women in their 2nd / 3rd trimesters of pregnancy at designated government health facilities.
  2. Janani Suraksha Yojana: Under the scheme, eligible pregnant women are entitled for cash assistance irrespective number of children for giving birth in a government or accredited private health facility.

State Maternity Benefit Programs:

  1. Mamta scheme, Odisha: Rs. 5,000 per child provided to PW& LM for first two child births.
  2. Dr. Muthulakshmi Reddy Maternity Benefit Scheme, Tamil Nadu: financial assistance of Rs. 18,000 per child and amma nutrition kit is provided to PW&LM for the first two births.

Government Instant Messaging System (GIMS)

News: The government is testing Government Instant Messaging System


  • It is an instant messaging platform developed for intra and inter organisation communications amongst central and state government departments and organizations.
  • It has been designed and developed by the Kerala unit of National Informatics Centre (NIC).

Android vulnerable to cyberattack: Union Home Ministry

News: Union Home Ministry has warned states about the vulnerability of the Android operating system to a bug called ‘StrandHogg’. It is a vulnerability in Android devices that allows malware to hijack legitimate apps.


About Malware: Malware (malicious software) refers to any kind of software that is designed to cause damage to a single computer, server or computer network

Common Types of Malware:

  1. Bot: software programs created to automatically perform specific operations.
  2. Bug: flaw in software that produces an undesired outcome.
  3. Ransomware: malware that prevents users from accessing their system or personal files and demands ransom in order to regain access
  4. Rootkit: malware designed to remotely access or control a computer.
  5. Spyware: malware that functions by spying on user activity without their knowledge
  6. Trojan horse: malware that disguises itself as a normal file or program to trick users into downloading and installing malware.
  7. Virus: malware that is capable of copying itself and spreading to other computers.

Additional Information:

Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Centre (I4C):

It was launched in 2018 to combat cybercrime in India. It functions under Ministry of Home Affairs. It has following seven components:

  • National Cybercrime Threat Analytics Unit.
  • National Cybercrime Reporting Portal.
  • Platform for Joint Cybercrime Investigation Team.
  • National Cybercrime Forensic Laboratory Ecosystem.
  • National Cybercrime Training Centre.
  • Cybercrime Ecosystem Management Unit.
  • National Cyber Research and Innovation Centre.

Planting trees, managing plastic waste helping this Kerala village to become carbon-neutral

News: Meenagnadi village panchayat, Wayanad, Kerala has taken initiative to become a carbon-neutral village


  1. Carbon-neutral Meenangadi project:Started in 2016, it involves afforestation programs, recycling of plastic waste, providing lower-emission cooking stoves.
  2. Sustainable Action for Climate Resilient Development in Majuli’ (SACReD, Majuli): it was launched by Assam government in 2016. It seeks to make Majuli, India’s first carbon neutral district by 2020.

Additional Information:

Carbon Neutrality

  • It refers to achieving net zero carbon emissions by having a balance between emitting carbon and absorbing carbon from the atmosphere in carbon sinks. It can be achieved through reduction in Co2 emissions and/or carbon offsetting.
  • Carbon offsetting means compensating for the carbon-dioxide pollution by preventing pollution somewhere else. Example: investment in renewable energy, energy efficiency, low carbon technologies etc.


  1. Carbon sink is any system that absorbs more carbon than it emits. The main natural carbon sinks are soil, forests and oceans.
  2. Majuli, located within Brahmaputra River, is the biggest river island in the world.
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